It is an acne-like eruption of the cheeks, which occurs predominantly in baby boys in the first weeks of their life. It is the reaction of a baby's skin to a relative imbalance of male (androgenic) and female (estrogenic) hormones in the baby's system following withdrawal of maternal estrogens after delivery. It is non-scarring and requires no treatment or control but needs treatment to reduce irritating itching.
This condition may come and go until the baby is between 4 and 6 months old. Since your baby isn't producing these levels of hormones, once you're done breast feeding and they're out of it's system, the acne will clear up. Beware of formula containing soy milk, which has been shown to include very high levels of hormone mimicking materials and thus may even promote puberty effects at a few months of age, such as breast development and pubic hair growth (1 percent at age 3 months).
Baby acne is most prominent when your son is hot or fussy (increased blood flow to the skin), or when his skin is irritated. Oils and lotions do not help, and may actually aggravate baby acne. Parents are often recommended to apply a little over-the-counter medicine such as hydrocortisone cream for baby acne , but an ionic colloidal silver solution is a far safer remedy and generally more effective, as it kills the bacteria that live on the excess oil, plus stops the itching!
More than 30 percent of babies are born with, or more commonly, develop a rash soon after birth. There are various types of rashes, baby acne being one form. This form of acne usually begins when a baby is around 3 weeks, and can last until the baby is 4 or 6 months old. Baby acne is perfectly normal, and is caused by hormones passed to the baby, through the placenta, before birth. These hormones stimulate the oil glands on your baby's skin, leading to baby acne. In addition to acne, the hormones may also cause your newborn son or daughter to have tiny breasts. These breast buds are in no way permanent, and all soon disappear with time. Sometimes newborn girls may have some vaginal bleeding, similar to a period. This is also due to hormones passed on to the girl, and is not a cause for concern. The bleeding will stop soon enough, and will not recur until your daughter is an adolescent.
Often, the baby's skin breaks out into pimples, and while most of the acne is in the form of red rash, whiteheads are also common. While the acne will be most visible on the face, a few pimples may appear on the chest and arms as well. If your child is agitated for some reason, heated up or unwell, the rash may become more severe, causing you further anxiety. Similarly, if his skin is irritated, the rash will worsen. Take care not to wash your child's towels or bibs in harsh detergents, as these may irritate the skin if not carefully and completely washed off. Make it a point to gently clean out saliva or milk from his face, so they do not cause further irritation.
Clean his face with water gently, and use a mild baby soap to wash his face. There is no need to rush around looking for a cure. Baby rash disappears on its own, with time, so applying oils and medications will not help, and are in any case, not required. In fact, applying oils will almost definitely cause the acne to worsen.
Make sure this is indeed acne, and the rash is not just because your baby is allergic to something. If you feel your child may have an allergy, keep a lookout for any possible allergens, and keep them away from your baby.
If your baby has acne, how do you look after her skin in the winter? Always remember, use less moisturizers and stay away from heavy creams. Use light, non-scented lotions. Also, make sure you do not over-bundle your child. Your baby will show her discomfort if she is too cold, but will not, if she is too warm. As a result, your child's skin will break out into a heat rash (yes, heat rash is surprisingly common in the winter too) worsening her acne. So if you take your baby outdoors in the winter, cover her up well, but make sure you remove some of the layers when you bring your child indoors.
And finally, there is no reason to believe that just because your child has had baby acne, she will be susceptible to teenage acne. At times, the babies with the severest acne have grown up to develop flawless skin.